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The Heart's Appeal

By Jennifer Delamere


Strong-minded and independent, Julia Bernay has come to London to study medicine and become a doctor--a profession that has only just opened up to women. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick action saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson. It’s only later that she learns he could be instrumental in destroying her dreams for the future.
Coming from a family that long ago lost its status, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to regain the path to wealth and recognition. His latest case puts him in the middle of a debate over the future of a women’s medical school. He’s supposed to remain objective, but when the beguiling and determined Julia reappears with an unexpected entreaty, he begins to question what he’s made most important in his life. As the two are tangled into spending more time together, will their diverging goals be too much to overcome?

Book Takeaway:

One interesting theme in this series is about family dynamics—how our parents and/or siblings can be not only a tremendous source of strength and solace in bad times, but also how their expectations can add a lot of pressure to our lives and the decisions we make. The tension between being helpful and troublesome is a family dynamic that has been interesting to explore. Both Julia and Michael are grappling with choices they have made for their lives that run contrary to what their siblings believe is best for them. They must find ways to reconcile that while still remaining true to themselves.

Why the author wrote this book:

I enjoyed delving into this bit of history when women were first being admitted to the medical field as physicians. Julia’s choice of career fits with her background of having been raised in George Müller’s orphanage in Bristol, England. When the girls left Müller’s orphanage, most went into service (cooks, maids, etc.). However, some became nurses, as was the case with Julia. It was easy to imagine that Julia would jump at the opportunity to become a physician when that field finally opened up to women. Julia’s Christian upbringing in Müller’s orphanage has made her a fervent believer. She wants to become a licensed physician so that she can be a medical missionary to foreign countries. But she soon learns there are many people in London who also need the physical and spiritual help that she can provide.


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